Washington — Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and a group of their colleagues to introduce resolution condemning attacks against members of the media and reaffirming the centrality of a free and independent press and peaceful assembly to the health of democracy in the United States. The resolution comes in the wake of the arrest on May 29 of CNN reporters covering protests in Minnesota. This was just one of dozens of reported instances of journalists and photographers being roughly handled by police officers while covering nationwide protests even after having identified themselves as members of the press.
In addition to Feinstein and Markey, the resolution is also co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
A copy of the resolution can be found HERE.
The Senate resolution reaffirms the commitment of the Senate to the constitutional protections of freedom of the press and peaceful assembly. It condemns violence committed against people of the United States exercising their right to free speech and peaceful assembly, including journalists and members of the media, whether that violence is committed by government officials or anyone else and condemns actions on the part of any local, state, or federal authorities to limit, restrict, or in any way prevent members of the media from performing their jobs. It also calls on local, state, and federal authorities to take steps to ensure that members of the media are able to safely perform their duties without interference, censorship, threats of violence, or physical harm and to explicitly exempt the news media from any curfew regulations. It calls on officials to thoroughly investigate any instances of violence committed against the media, whether perpetrated by members of law enforcement or otherwise.